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Chambers College of Business and Economics




We ask whether AACSB accreditation has a meaningful impact on university admissions. To do this, we explore 16 U.S. institutions which first achieved this certification recently. We, first, document a modest, but nonzero, impact on university-wide undergraduate applications, without any changes in first-year enrollment, price, or quality of the incoming student body. Restricting attention to business schools, while initial evidence suggests that the accreditation is associated with a decrease in enrollments, we show that this is complicated by non-parallel trends prior to accreditation. Compared to their comparison institutions, universities who seek out accreditation were experiencing flatter business enrollments. Correcting for the non-parallel trends, we fail to find evidence that AACSB accreditation halts this negative enrollment trend.



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